Tummy Tuck Swell Hell? (photo)

I am 6 weeks post op after having a tummy tuck. I have been aspirated 4 times now and In total I have had 750ml of fluid drained from me. I just want to no when the swelling will go down and if there is something I can do to help.Also can someone explain what is happening to my belly button please.It was completely closed over after surgery as it is starting to open it has yellow stuff in and leaks now and again. I have had a course of antibotics but its taken its time to heal. many thanks

Doctor Answers 3

Because the blood supply wound issues after abdominoplasty may take weeks to heal.

The nature of the operation creates areas of poor blood supply that make healing difficult after abdominoplasty. You may not have complete resolution of your problem for number of weeks.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Treatment of Seroma after abdominoplasty

The anterior abdominal flap looks swollen.  If you have fluid collection and protrusion of the abdominal skin flap you should wear a right compressive garment always to squeeze out the fluid in the abdominal skin.  This may not completely eliminate the seroma from coming back but will minimize it.  The skin of the abdomen when elevated loses some of its lymphatic drainage so fluid will tend to collect in the abdominal skin making the skin look fatter and more swollen than it actually is.  This remains so for three months until new lymphatics re-establish.  Its important to use a compressive corset during this time to control swelling and reshape the abdomen.  The compressive garment also keeps the abdominal musculature repair from stretching which can lead to protrusion of the abdomen if the muscle repair tears.  Finally I would recommend Embrace which is an adhesive silicone dressing which takes tension off of the abdominoplasty incision and improves the tummy tuck scar's appearance as it heals with less tension.

Benjamin Chu, MD, FACS
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Tummy Tuck Swell Hell?

Sorry to read of these problems.

No one can predict the future about the fluid collection. If you asked after one aspiration, most would have predicted a shorter course than you have had. 

After this many aspirations, perhaps putting back a drain would be one thought. Check with your surgeon about sclerosis, injecting a substance ( betadine, tetracycline, absolute alcohol) to try to dry out the field. 

The navel is separate problem. Either the original navel has retracted and is buried, or I am looking at the remnants of the navel, which is no longer viable tissue. Your surgeon should be able to distinguish between the alternatives. If the navel is still present and buried, it can be resutured in place at an appropriate time. If not, usually these heal with a scar. The navel is already a scar from the umbilical cord. Sometimes a minor local procedure is needed to improve the appearance.

All the best. Follow closely with your surgeon.



Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.